The focus of this article edited by Nancy Hunter Kennedy, based on Dr. Chester W. Bowie’s doctoral thesis, concerns Redfield Proctor’s contributions to the Harrison administration as Secretary of War from 1889-1891.
His primary achievements were the reorganization of the military Pension System; creating the position of the Assistant Secretary of War; improving soldiers’ daily lives;
and reevaluating overall U.S. military strategy. A bonus for his home State was the use of his position to persuade President Harrison to attend the dedication of the Bennington Monument.
All of his activities indicate that he was an effective, forward looking politician of his time, and of continued interest today as Dr. Bowie’s thesis makes clear.